Garden Entertaining

No, it is NOT that time of year, certainly not in Scotland, but it is the time of year for planning summer entertaining and if you have a big celebration coming up and you want to hold it at home, it might be worth your while ordering a gazebo.

Perfect for wedding anniversaries, birthdays, there is always something to celebrate for someone in the family, surely? Our extended family seems to go on and on, I don’t know whether we are a bit unadventurous, but we all seem to live within a couple of hours of each other. There are a few notable exceptions – rebels all of them – but they do all visit, particularly, obviously, when there is something to celebrate. Parties can get messy though – even if your friends and family are the best behaved bunch ever, drinks can get spilled, food trodden on and that is before you have even thought about dancing! None of the above is a problem if you can party outside.

Gardens are great for entertaining – a summer’s evening will be warm, but it might not be dry, a gazebo will shelter you from wind as well as rain and give your do a really ‘special occasion’ feeling. Drinks parties and sit down meals can benefit equally from the feeling of enclosure, whilst still being outside, that a gazebo can bring. If it is not raining, an outside fire pit is a lovely additional centre point by the way.

I love some of the colourful gazebos available, either the blue or the red would make a great starting point for the decor, once it is up you can add further fabulous colours with table cloths, balloons, flowers and napkins. Crazy patterns are welcome too at colourful events. Themes could be Bollywood, James Bond, the Great Gatsby… Or what about Midsummer Murders? I love murder mystery dinners, I have been to a few and hosted a couple. Even Doug, who you would not expect to be theatrical, can get very stuck into character. Experiment with the food and music and link it to your chosen theme. Indian and Thai food is always popular, a hog roast is great for a big event, make sure you have plenty of vegetarian choices as well – I love charred halloumi cheese – drench in an olive oil and lemon juice dressing – and of course, lots of healthy salads always go down well with everyone – children can pick and choose and as long as there are some unhealthy puddings, you will not get any complaints I promise! Once people have committed to fancy dress they always enjoy themselves more and really appreciate additional details and props to add to the fun. Music can be home made – garden singing is fun – believe me – or hire a band for a big do, or compromise with Spotify and a PA.

For more outdoor gazebo inspiration – click here. They are very cleverly designed nowadays – really easy to put up. For me preparation is all part of the fun. I love setting tables and arranging flowers and food.

And they pack up really conveniently into a neat bag, so are very easy to store and can be helpfully lent out to friends and relatives for their big event. The gazebos depicted are surprisingly inexpensive, so would be a great investment for the whole family – here’s to many happy memories for all.

Do alert neighbours to noisy garden parties of course – either invite them or let them know so they can plan a peaceful evening elsewhere!

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